May 27, 2016
Last week we wrapped up our Education season with an awesome group of 70 fifth grade students. I led the horse demo and corral tour, and explained to the students what everyday operations look like on the ranch and the importance of horses and cattle for specific land management goals.
This group had great questions, asking about everything from the long dangling things on my chinks (fringe), to the reason for shipping some cattle and not others. Their curiosity was contagious, …
February 12, 2015
The day was like any other. After breakfast we smoldered the fire and rode out. The sun was starting to peak over the Sangres and through the clouds. Not enough to shed the sweater. Everyone was full of biscuits and gravy and eggs and coffee.
We trotted. The horses were fresh and ready. The guests and staff blended to make one crew.
Soon we reached the Big South. After the last rider made it through the …
June 20, 2014
At Zapata we get to ride with some amazing riders from all over the world, polo players, show jumpers, dressage riders and those that have been in the saddle for a lifetime, we also get brand spanking new riders. Some have maybe been in the saddle once. Ever.These are I think the most rewarding to ride with, slightly nervous, excited and with no clue what they are able to achieve when they first step on. Quite often but under no …
May 8, 2013
The last week and a half, we’ve had two guests visiting, Hans and Alex. This is Hans third time on the Chico and Alex’s second. With all the shifting and shipping of cattle, there’s been a lot of riding and long rides at that. Luckily for us though, Hans and Alex have been able to step right in and help out. I don’t think the cavalry usually had the ability to call in more cavalry, but that’s what this feels …
March 26, 2013
The air was brisk this morning and snow still clung to the ground from the storm a few days ago, but it was clear spring had arrived. The sun warmed our cheeks as we rode out to gather and sort more heifers, and you couldn’t feel that touch of winter in the wind anymore. Our riding guests for the week– the Bizzell family– joined us for the day.
Back from our ride, we had lunch at the corrals under the shade …
July 7, 2012
Yesterday, Anna, our new wrangler from Australia, and I rode to Crestone from the Sand Dunes with 5 guests. On a trail I knew well in parts, others I had seen once whilst riding in the mountains as a child with my dad and brother and many bits I did not know at all, we set off on an exciting 8 hours. We set off at the beginning of the trail at 9 on the dot and with just one …
June 26, 2012
Last week, Carla and I led a pack trip into the high mountains with three guests, Ronnie, Ciska, and Hanna. For four days we explored the high and rugged Sangre De Cristo Mountains that tower above the ranch, camping in two different places, seeing two different high lakes, watching wildlife, hiking and a little bit of fishing. The experience of being in such an unbelievable place with good horses, a comfortable camp, and great guests was beyond words. I would …
June 23, 2012
Yesterday, Malia (6), conquered her fear of horses and made best friends with Fred. We originally had a horse for her to ride by herself but a fear of its height and the chance of it falling on her hindered her from riding by herself. No problem there, she rode in front of me on my saddle and by the end was steering us home, swatting flies off “Freddy’s” neck, all the while giving him reassuring scratches wherever she could …
May 15, 2012
Yesterday all the guests arrived for branding week and there’s been a great buzz in the air of excitement for the week ahead! We rode out across the Medano so everyone could get used to their horses and saddles. Bob is the only guy in the group, a thorn amongst roses he said, but we think rather differently. At 81 years old Bob came to Zapata last year for the first time, it was on his bucket list and we …
March 29, 2012
Duke and I recently took a trip to Berlin to attend ITB, the world’s largest tourism show. The show is massive– over 80,000 participants spread out amongst 26, three-story buildings, but is all appointment based. We had some really great meetings with tour operators, journalists and trade professionals and look forward to attending again in the future.
We did manage to get in an afternoon/evening visit with two past guests to the ranch– Matthias and his daughter Paula. Matthias and Paula …